Screengrab via Washington Post
A triple murder involving a Pensacola woman and her three adult sons is being investigated as a "ritualistic killing," with ties to the recent blue moon.
The body of 77 year-old Pensacola resident Voncile Smith was found on July 31, alongside her two sons John William Smith, 49 and Richard Thomas Smith, 47.
According to the Washington Post
, the bodies were found three days after they were slain, which is believed to be Tuesday, July 28.
Police found the mother and her two sons after a co-worker of Richard Thomas Smith reported him missing.
"Initial research has led us to believe it was a ritualistic killing,” said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan to the Pensacola News Journal
. “The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, slit throats, positioning of bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that. The time of the death on Tuesday also coincides with what’s referred to as a blue moon, which occurs every three years.”
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Andrew Hobbes also told NBC News
, “It appears that this might be connected to some type of Wiccan ritual killing and possibly tied to the blue moon.”
A blue moon occurs when there's two full moons within the same calendar month– the last one was July 31.
Obviously, there's a three day difference between the date of the last blue moon and when authorities are claiming the murders transpired, but as the Associated Press
reported, “The sheriff did not explain the discrepancy and his office did not return a telephone call seeking clarification.”